“I thought he was absolutely crazy sending a smile to someone on the other side of the world,” Margaret recalled, as she reflected on the beginning of her relationship with Mark. “But he did seem really nice, so I decided that even though I couldn’t imagine anything permanent coming from this, it would still be pretty cool to even chat with him.” Margaret’s casual decision to chat proved to have life-changing consequences.
The chat request from the 56-year-old Iowan came as Margaret, a 42-year-old from Australia was getting ready to cancel her CatholicMatch membership. Mark wasn’t at that point, but he was similarly discouraged with his romantic prospects online. Neither saw a match, either on CatholicMatch, or other dating sites, as a realistic possibility.
After they made their online connection, Mark and Margaret were soon e-mailing and skyping on a daily basis. “Neither of us were getting much sleep, but we got to know each other so well,” Margaret told CatholicMatch.
By “coincidence”, Margaret received her passport one day in the middle of a Skype session, about four weeks into their online relationship. The couple decided then it was time for her to come to the United States and see if the feelings they were developing for each other were real.
They both went into this excursion that would start in New York move on to Chicago and end at Mark’s home in Iowa with open eyes—they might find that they weren’t in love. But the worst that could happen was they would spend a holiday weekend with a friend in a fun city with someone they respected and liked. With that kind of healthy perspective as a foundation, they were ready to meet.
Mark and Margaret had a wonderful time seeing pieces of America together—the Empire State Building, a Broadway Play, Yankee Stadium, and in the Midwest they rode along the Mississippi River on a Harley.
For all the exciting places they saw together though, the most important sight came at the end—that was when Margaret met Mark’s family and see if she would be able to fit into his world. “(It) was obvious the second I got there that there would be nothing more perfect,” she said enthusiastically.
Mark is planning a return trip to Australia for Christmas and working on getting his annulment finalized so the engagement can move forward. “We have all the faith in the world that things will go smoothly,” Margaret said gratefully. “We have a strong devotion to Our Lady and St. Jude…we are both deeply in love with each other, very excited and optimistic about our futures again and eternally thankful for all our blessings.”